Techgarage

You can now blur the background of your Skype calls: Here’s how

by Kevin Kyburz 02/09/2019

We’ve all been there. You get a video call, answer, and then realize that you’ve got your dirty laundry strewn all over your room.

Previously, your only option was to shut the call down as quickly as possible and log out, possibly never to contact the person again out of shame—sorry mum. However, Skype has a better idea.

The company has just introduced a feature that allows you to blur the background of your video calls. Using artificial intelligence that has been trained in human form detection, the program can detect your body—including hair, hands, and arms—blurring everything else.

Is it any good?

All joking aside, the feature looks pretty neat. It’s able to put the focus of the call on you, reducing background distractions. However, if the examples released by Skype are anything to go by, the blur is relatively subtle.

The company also said they can’t guarantee your background will always be blurred meaning it could still be worth cleaning up beforehand if you have a particularly important call to make.

According to Skype, the feature should work on most desktops and laptops with the latest version of the program installed. However, it didn’t mention if it would be coming to phones or tablets.

How to blur the background on Skype video calls

Turning the feature on is super simple. You can do it mid-call in case you spot something untoward half-way through a chat. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Ensure you are using the latest version of Skype.
  2. Start a video call.
  3. While in the call, move your mouse over the video icon at the bottom of your screen.
  4. Set the “Blur my background” toggle to on.
  5. Skype will then blur the background, putting the focus on you, and away from the dirty laundry you forgot to clean up earlier.
Kevin Kyburz

Kevin Kyburz

Kevin Kyburz is part of Generation Y, which grew up with a Windows 95 computer and the first PlayStation. Since he discovered the Internet, there are no limits.

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